Mette Kirstine Tørslev

Postdoc, MA Anthropology, PhD Public Health Science
Diabetes Prevention Research
Team:Citizens and sustainable cities

Phone +45 21 35 34 20

Research area

Community health promotion 

I work with health promotion and prevention of type 2 diabetes with specific focus on citizen involvement and social mobilisation to strengthen local communities.

I work with research and development of concrete health-promoting initiatives in cities and local communities. I am particularly interested in how we can work through local efforts to create more social and ethnic equality in health. In addition, my research interests focus on how we can support the participation of families in community-based health promotion.

The research, I engage in, addresses cross-sectoral partnership formation as well as citizen involvement in health promotion in cities and local communities. Current research projects, such as Tingbjerg Changing Diabetes and Our Healthy Community, for example, aim to build knowledge on how to establish effective, sustainable collaborations across sectors and how to create action among professional stakeholders in local communities.

In these research projects we implement, study and qualify the supersetting approach as an intervention strategy focusing on to what extend concepts, principles and technologies of the Supersetting approach can be transferred to other local communities and city contexts.

Co-creation and participatory research methods

Drawing on the six-step cycle of Community Action Research for sustainable interventions in local community settings (the CAR research circle), I work with co-creation in developing, testing and evaluating concrete initiatives, activities and projects. Our intervention research emphasizes co-creation in different phases of the projects, involving: Co-analysis of local context, which involves citizens and professional actors in the characterization of socially disadvantaged communities; Co-creation of initiatives that involve citizens and professional actors in the development and implementation of initiatives in the local community; and Co-evaluation of activities that involve training citizens and professional actors in the evaluation of efforts and activities in the local community.

Methodologically, I work with participatory, creative and visual methods that facilitate and promote participation and involvement of different target groups.

Current research

Research Project: Tingbjerg Changing Diabetes (TCD)

Aim: The overall aim of Tingbjerg Changing Diabetes is to promote healthy living and prevent type 2 diabetes among high-risk population groups living in the neighbourhood Tingbjerg in Copenhagen. The initiative is designed as a long-term, complex intervention that is developed and implemented in three interconnected phases from 2014-2032, focusing on partnership formation (Phase 1, 2014-19), developing and implementing action for health (Phase 2, 2019-30) and diffusion of knowledge (Phase 3, 2022-32). TCD applies the Supersetting approach striving to attain synergistic effects through coordinated engagement of multiple stakeholders in multiple settings to mobilize local resources for collective community action. Five core principles constitute the Supersetting approach: 1) integration 2) participation 3) empowerment 4) context-sensitivity 5) knowledge. 

Partners include the Social Housing Associations of FSB and KAB; Copenhagen Hospitality College; Copenhagen Municipality (departments of culture, health, employment, and social services); University of Aalborg; University of Copenhagen; University of Southern Denmark and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen. 

Research Project: Our Healthy Community
Aim: The overall aim of Our Healthy Community is to develop, test, optimize and implement a new strategic model for coordinated, holistic and crosscutting disease prevention and health promotion in municipalities using the Supersetting approach. The goal is to create positive and measurable changes in the health and well-being of citizens. 

The project is carried out in collaboration between three research institutions (Aalborg University, Center for Clinical Research and Prevention and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen), two regions (Capital Region of Denmark and the North Denmark Region) and four Danish municipalities.

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